Here’s some documentation of a recent demo.
Here is a lil break down of what’s happening:
The inflation of the building is based on an API that is crawling the web for data related to factors that some economists have speculated as factors that we are in a tech bubble. This includes the stock index of some of the unicorn companies in Silicon valley. Unicorn companies are startups that is valued over $1 billion. The fan is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller via Firmata using Processing. The API was made using Kimono Labs, which was surprisingly easy to use!
The inflatable building is being recorded live via webcam and fed through another program in Processing that is chromakeying out the orange background (a rain poncho I had on hand) on top of an image from the livefeed that Salesforce has of their building built in San Francisco. So yeah basically you can watch the building grow before your eyes!
See this post if you want to see how the building was made!
Still very much a work in progress, but the system works to some degree!
I’m really interested in the staging and and live capture installation. It’s kind of like a puppet show, where you understand the clashes in reality (like when a puppet represents a human character) but you choose to believe in it to follow the narrative.
Here is a gif of the building rising… not advised viewing for the faint of heart.
For a recent project I made an inflatable version of the SalesForce tower that is currently being constructed in San Francisco. Here are some images of how it was constructed!
The base is made out of rip-stop nylon sewn in kind of prism shape. As you can see, I am making an estimated scaled down version.
While the base is good at holding things like fan and air, it doesn’t look like the building! So I made a little overlay for the base (like a shirt).
Here is some nice luminescent sheer fabric from the Halloween section at a fabric store. I sewed some lines with black thread for the vertical lines.
Here it is after in a pile!
To make the horizontal windows, I sewed a bunch of tucks. Basically fold the fabric, iron it, and sew a 1/4″ along the fold. As you can see, I am working across the whole fabric rather than cutting out the separate pieces for the building and then sewing/tucking/pleating each one.
Got too wrapped in the building and forgot to take photos while I was cutting the pattern and sewing it together. Since the fabric tends to fray pretty easily, I used French seams (~~~super fancy~~~~) for the sides and some improvised binding for “U” shapes on the top.
Standing on it’s own!
Speculative app design to help you meet you your next meal.
I’ve been learning how to use P5js for some coding projects. It’s really fun and forgiving and you can make some fun lil things.
Here is a random bird generator inspired by Darwin’s finches.
Here is a generative streetscape.
Here is a snake clock based off an illustration from The Little Prince. Over the course of 24 hours, the snake will slowly digest the elephant..
Laser cut fabric that is sided with Wonder-Ease, an adhesive backing that is usually used in quilting so that it can be ironed on to another surface!
The image used is a Polish paper cut that was rendered into a laser cut file via Illustrator.
This is a piece I made for one of my classes. The arm on the device will move in or out if it hears rain so that plant can be watered.
Some in process photos. A servo motor is programmed to the wooden piece out
PlantArm from Jen Liu on Vimeo.
view from my back window in Pittsburgh
Knitting a cord with yarn and conductive thread on the Embellish – Knit. this was then needle felted onto a knitted swatch to light up a lil LED! When needle felting – it is best to use 100% animal fiber. In the above example and for the project, I used an alpaca/lamb wool blend.
Knitting on the machine! This model uses a punch card reader.
Each piece is knitted on the machine and then assembled to create the sweater. Here it is right before all the side seams were completed.
Here it is after components are sewn on + trouble shooting!
So here is an inflatable costume I got so I could use the fan for a wearable inflatable project. The battery pack was a pretty clunky piece of plastic and I wanted to take it apart to make a softer case with a switch that could be extended and controlled from other parts of the body.
Taking the switch apart and using alligator clips to test how things work!
Making a soft battery case for 4 AA batteries. This design was based off of this!
When it sewed up it looked like a lil bunny so of course adding googly eyes, felt nose and puffy paint mouth was completely mandatory. 6V bunny battery pack good to go!
So here you have the new circuit kind of: the Bunny battery pack and then the control for the switch above which leads to the fan pack. When the blue wires are connected, it completes the circuit! The idea is that now the blue wires can be extended and turned into a soft switch that could be located somewhere else on the body.
Using the laser cutter I made some “clothing tags”.
It’s an idea that I’ve been harboring for awhile – which is to create reminders of the people and labor behind the goods we interact with, specifically clothing. NYU ITP is right around the corner from the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the site of one of the worst industrial disasters in U.S. history. Many unnecessary deaths were caused by locked stairways and exits, which was a way to prevent the workers from taking breaks. After this incident, there was a huge push for progressive labor reforms in American textile factories, benefiting many of the workers which were mostly women. However, reflecting on the current textile industry, the recent factory fires in Bangladesh that have taken over a thousand workers’ lives show little improvement in work conditions on a global scale. Many of these factories supply clothing for “fast-fashion” chains that produces trendy clothing at a low monetary cost.
I created these tags and sewed them into different garments in select stores around New York City. I am hoping that someone will see it and spend a moment to think about the hand that made/assembled/created the garment. On the flip side, I am also okay if nobody else ever sees it – it’s just my reaction to this complex issue and thinking of how we can start a dialogue on consumerism, fashion, production, etc.